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Merced Dog Bite Lawyer

Merced Dog Bite Lawyer

For many people, dogs are trusted friends and companions. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, somewhere around 36 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet dog and California is the state with the second-highest number of pet dogs after Texas. Not only do most dog owners consider their pets part of their family, but the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even suggests that dog ownership can have several important health benefits including lowered blood pressure and more opportunity for exercise.

Although dogs are usually not dangerous and can even protect their owners in certain situations, the sad truth is that dogs do occasionally bite. CDC data shows that around 4.5 million dog bite incidents happen in the U.S. every year. Many of these attacks don’t leave people with serious injuries and individuals are able to recover easily. However, dog bite accidents also often leave people with severe trauma that can be both difficult and expensive to recover from. Many dog bite survivors are left with chronic medical conditions that drastically affect their lives. In the most extreme cases, dog bites can even be the cause of fatal injuries.

Dog Bite Data
  • About 1,000 people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms for dog bite injuries every day.
  • Nearly 92 percent of fatal dog bites involve male dogs.
  • About 25 percent of fatal dog attacks involve a restrained dog.
  • U.S. insurers pay out over one billion dollars for dog bites every year.
  • Nearly one-third of serious dog bites take place near the injured person’s residence.
  • Most of the people bit by dogs are familiar with the attacking dog.
  • About 75 percent of dog bites affect extremities such as arms, legs, hands, and feet.
Who is at Risk?

Anybody can potentially be attacked by a dog. However, children are especially vulnerable and often receive very serious injuries during dog attacks. The CDC reports that more than 80 percent of people treated in emergency rooms for dog bite injuries are children under the age of 15. The CDC also reports that around half of children younger than 12 years old have been bitten by a dog and that unsupervised infants are around 300 times more likely to be fatally hurt in a dog bite incident than an adult.

The reasons why children are more at risk than adults are various. One reason is that children are simply smaller, meaning that they are less able to defend themselves and more likely to be seriously hurt by a bite. Another reason is that children are less likely to realize when a dog may be upset or dangerous. In fact, many attacks occur when children try to play with a dog and provoke it unknowingly.

Dangerous Dog Breeds

While every dog, no matter how well-trained and friendly, can bite, some breeds are generally considered to be more dangerous than others. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many dogs included on the list of dangerous breeds and can say that these dogs are often incredibly friendly and would most likely never become aggressive. However, through over three decades of representing people in California dog bite cases, I have seen many cases of dogs from dangerous breeds biting with hardly any warning. While you should keep in mind that all dogs are potentially dangerous, it’s also important to know which breeds most often cause injuries.

Breeds that most often bite include:

  • German Shepherd
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Chihuahua
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Pit Bull
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Terrier
  • Pekingese
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Lhasa Apso
Preventing Dog Bites

Watch YouTube Video: How to prevent dog bites? If you’d like to learn some helpful ways to prevent dog bites and suffering injuries, you can watch this informative video:

Taking Quick Action

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in California, it is likely that the law is on your side. California law provides that the owners of dogs have strict liability for the injuries their pets cause. Under these strict liability laws, injured parties do not need to establish negligence. This is different from most cases of personal injury and is a big help to people with dog bite claims.

However, having a lawyer on your side as soon as possible can also greatly help with getting the repayments that you deserve for the injuries you or your loved ones have suffered. A lawyer with experience handling dog bite cases will be able to take care of the details of your case, allowing you to focus on recovery. Additionally, a good dog bite lawyer will know all the types of recompense you are eligible to claim and will be able to ensure that nothing is overlooked.

Choosing an Attorney

While dealing with the recovery process, it can be difficult to complete even simple daily tasks like getting your kids to school, doing housework, or cooking. On top of all this, those recovering from dog bites often need to spend time in physical therapy sessions. Managing your recovery process and looking for the right lawyer at the same time can feel overwhelming.

A good first step in finding the right lawyer to represent you is making sure that your attorney has extensive experience with handling California dog bite cases. An experienced lawyer will have an intimate understanding of how to best investigate, prepare, prove, and argue your case. Another important thing to consider is whether or not you are personally comfortable with your lawyer, if you don’t feel like you can communicate well with your attorney, it may lead to difficulties later on. I encourage you to keep reading about my firm here on my website if you want to learn more about my practice. If you’d like to speak with me for free advice about your case, you can call (209) 227-1931 and ask to talk with Ed Smith.

What Losses Can I Be Compensated For?

Many people don’t realize just how serious dog bites can be. Many dogs are naturally able to tear flesh with their teeth and have strong chest and jaw muscles that can cause major injuries.  Some of the severe injuries that dog bite survivors suffer include nerve damage, post-traumatic stress disorder, disfigurement, scarring, amputation injuries, and more. Even a small dog bite has the potential to cause a possibly fatal infection.

Because of the severity of these injuries, those bitten by dogs are often able to claim payments for a wide variety of losses. Recoverable dog bite damages include:

  • Lost income
  • Loss of income potential
  • Emotional distress
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and suffering
Merced Dog Bite Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Merced dog bite lawyer with more than three decades' experience handling California dog bite claims. If you or a person that is important to you has been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries as a result, call me for free, friendly legal advice at (209) 227-1931 or (800) 404-5400.

I take client cases on a contingency basis. This means that if I take your case, you don’t need to pay me any money up-front. You will only pay me if I am able to obtain you the financial recovery that you rightly deserve.

If you want to know more about how I’ve been able to help my previous clients, you don’t have to just take my word for it. You can read reviews from the people I have helped on these third-party sites: Google, Yelp, and Avvo.

To get even more details about my history of success, check out my firm’s extensive Verdicts and Settlements webpage.

I’m one of Million Dollar Advocates Forum’s members. This U.S. forum is for lawyers who have won or settled a case with more than one million dollars in value for a client.

I am also a proud member of the Top One Percent.

Photo: "rottweiler running" by pohjakroon through cco-pixabay

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 7.22.19]

Client Reviews
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